tv BBC Business Live BBC News May 12, 2017 8:30am-9:01am BST
this is business live from bbc news with tanya beckett and rachel horne. zooming exports and crumbling classrooms. the paradox of germany's lopsided economy. live from london, that's our top story on friday 12th may. growth accelerates in europe's biggest economy but is germany becoming too reliant on exports? we'll get an expert view. has donald trump opened the door to trade with china? beijing gives the green light to certain us exports. we'll cross live to asia for the latest reaction. it isa it is a flat start on the markets for europe. oil prices remaining relatively firm of course. also in the programme: we'll hear from the young tech entrepreneur behind the uk's latest billion dollar business.
it's been a long week for barclays‘ ceo jes staley and it ends with him fooled into replying to an email he thought was sent by the bank's chairman but was actually from a prankster. we'll tell you what he wrote later, but first we want to know have you ever sent an email to the wrong person? just use #bbcbizlive. hello and welcome to business live. we start in europe's economic powerhouse, because in the last half hour germany has released gdp figures for the first three months of the year, and they show an economy that's accelerating. it grew 0.6% on the previous quarter. that translates to an annual rate of 1.7%. it's being fuelled by global demand for the country's exports, like cars and machinery.
but it's not all cause for celebration. let me show you why. last year germany clocked up its biggest ever trade surplus, that's how much more it exports than it imports. at $275 billion, germany has one of the biggest trade surpluses in the world. it's a source of tension with its neighbours and allies. look at how much more germany sells to these top economies than it buys from them. the us in particular has accused germany of exploiting an undervalued euro to get an unfair trade advantage. an over—reliance on exports isn't the only problem. the european commission says germany is just too frugal. it is saving too much, and investing too little. it wants to see some of that cash invested in the region's struggling economies. paul kavanagh, director of patronus partners, is with me. growth of 0.6% for the first three
month we were expecting, sounds not bad, so why is there so much criticism of germany? it is to do with the imbalances within the economy. germany taxes its popular very highly, around 40% of gdp is made up of taxes. as we approach the elections in september there is a lot of pressure on trying to release some of these taxes that are being imposed, to bring more euros back and to allow people to spend, and if they spend, will be spend on things they spend, will be spend on things they need to import? to rebalance this import export argument creating tensions particularly with the us. there is also the issue over the euro. explain that. germany has a very strong economy not only domestically but it is the strongest in terms of exports. normally if you
we re in terms of exports. normally if you were alone as a country with that sort of thing you would have a very strong sort of thing you would have a very strong currency sort of thing you would have a very strong currency but they are benefiting from the weak economy of france and spain and others and so they have had a very good year on they have had a very good year on the export front. the difficulty is, my issue with looking at a trade surplus, is it is a gross figure, it does not look at margins, profits, you could be selling something that had a very small margin, germany is not, but it is a pretty crude way of assessing whether there is an imbalance. absolutely. what happens around the world, this relationship between economies and currencies is becoming more tense and impacts on china andjapan becoming more tense and impacts on china and japan and particularly the us at the moment because the ma nifesto us at the moment because the manifesto from donald trump has been about protecting the us. it's feeling is that the us has been subsidising the world with a strong dollar and weaker currencies against
the weaker yen and euro and when you look at the trade surplus numbers and the strong balance sheet of germany at the moment, which is not being used to create new investment in schools, construction, and giving more money back to the popular to buy consumable goods, there is a feeling there is imbalance and you are benefiting from the weak currency. thank you. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. shares in macy's have plunged after the us department store owner said quarterly sales slid 7.5%. macy's lost around 14% of its value. rivals kohls and jc penney were also down sharply, amid fears about the health of the traditional us retail sector. the rise in online shopping has seen us department stores shed more than 32,000 jobs in the past year, according to us government estimates. the south korean government has ordered carmakers hyundai and kia motors to recall about 240,000 cars, after a tip off from a whistleblower.
the ex—hyundai employee raised concern about defects which affected 12 different car models. it is the first time the country's government has issued a compulsory vehicle recall. kia is an affiliate of hyundai, and officials are asking the country's prosecutor to look for any evidence of a cover up at the carmakers. to asia now, and since us president donald trump and chinese president xijinping met in florida last month, the two countries have been in talks to try and reduce tensions over trade. well, it looks like those talks are beginning to yield results. 0ur reporter is in singapore and can tell us more. they have unveiled a 10.8 package, quite a meaty deal. china is resuming imports of us beef after 13 yea rs resuming imports of us beef after 13 years and in return the us is allowing chinese cooked chicken back into their market. 0ther
allowing chinese cooked chicken back into their market. other points of this deal include the entry of chinese banks into the us and for china they are opening the market to us natural gas and financial services firms and credit rating services. the us commerce secretary says that this deal should actually reduce china's trade surplus with america by the end of the year. on the campaign trail president trump did a lot of sabre rattling when it did a lot of sabre rattling when it did to china. he has not did what he threatened. after the meeting with the president in florida it seemed like the situation is you scratch my back and i will scratch yours. thank you. interesting mix of politics and economics there. there is not a secular driving force
in the markets at the moment. —— particular. we know the us central bank says it is ready to hike interest rates. the uk central bank ta kes a interest rates. the uk central bank takes a different view about the uk economy which is predicted to grow faster than the german economy this year. this is what is happening in europe so far. in percentage terms not much movement. this is france, merck on redefining the relationship between france and germany. we have the details on what has been going on in wall street. two bits of economic news, the consumer price index and retail sales. economists estimate that the cbi will increase by 0.2% in april after a fall of
0.3% in march. it seems it may be the same story for sales, the expectation is they will be up by 0.6% after falling by 0.2% in expectation is they will be up by 0.6% afterfalling by 0.2% in march. speaking of retail salesjcpenney will be reporting earnings. the company is looking to cut costs as sales continue to slide. they said backin sales continue to slide. they said back in february they would close 130-140 back in february they would close 130—140 underperforming stores over the next few months and they will offer volu nta ry the next few months and they will offer voluntary retirement for about 6000 employees. joining us is nandini ramakrishnan, global market strategist atjp morgan asset management. yesterday we had the bank of england giving their inflation report and their inflation forecast has increased but no sign of an interest rate move. yes, a combination of higher inflation expected and lower growth, which is making the bank of
england remain on hold. a lot of commentary about the strength of the uk consumer, a little bit of wea kness uk consumer, a little bit of weakness coming from that consumer but other parts of the economy such as exports and potential investment from abroad should balance that. things get complicated, the impact of the brexit vote and the potential for inflation to rise and growth to stag nate for inflation to rise and growth to stagnate at the same time, soft data comes in handy. yes. this is happening globally. survey data coming out quite strong that we want to see the gdp numbers, some of which we have been seeing coming out quite strong, but we want to see the ha rd quite strong, but we want to see the hard data come out strong as well to support it which is what the bank of england and lots of central banks around the world are hoping for. looking at the markets we have had strong us earnings, resolution to the french presidential elections,
we are in the middle of the european earnings season, how are the markets feeling? there's a bit of a positive breath after the french elections and we had strong usjobs breath after the french elections and we had strong us jobs data last week. nothing too big on the horizon today or the early parts of next week that should shock the markets. we will see as the data comes out. you will be back in a few minutes to talk through the papers and to let us talk through the papers and to let us know if you have ever emailed the wrong person. let us know if you have done that. i have done that. it was not nice! still to come: we'll hear from the young tech entrepreneur behind the uk's latest billion dollar business. you're with business live from bbc news. businesses in all parts of the uk, particularly rural areas, are experiencing full or partial not—spots in their mobile coverage according to the british
chambers of commerce. the survey shows that 70% of firms experience mobile non—spots, areas of no mobile coverage by any operator, or partial not—spots, where there is some coverage but not from all networks, in their local area. theo leggett can tell us more. this is a survey put out by the british chambers of commerce who have interviewed 11100 companies around the country, many of them small businesses. mobile phone and internet access is but a clean important for small businesses because often able running them are on the move that they have to keep in touch with clients. 70% of these businesses report that they are experiencing either not spots where they cannot get any 4g coverage or partial not sports were one mobile provider might have coverage but others do not, and it is particularly acute in rural areas.
it isa particularly acute in rural areas. it is a fairly small survey that echoes the national report last year on preparation forfive echoes the national report last year on preparation for five g echoes the national report last year on preparation forfive g coverage where it said that ag, britain was 56th in the world for ag coverage, simply not good enough. the british chambers of commerce are trying to turn this into an election issue. what do they want to be done? what can you do? surely operators will already have done what they can do. 0ne already have done what they can do. one of the things the british chambers of commerce is calling for is easing of planning laws to allow for taller masts because if you are ina ruralarea for taller masts because if you are in a rural area that might improve your coverage. the other point is that 0fcom it says must do more to hold providers to account for the service advertised to customers, in other words making sure that if it is advertised people get it. customers not getting a good service at all. some rely on 3g but 60% are
only getting two g, which is not internet. not good enough. have you watched paper pig? £a7 million of extra costs, shares down 2%. you're watching business live. just because you're a tech startup doesn't mean you have to think small. instead, london—based virtual reality firm, improbable, has has raised $500 million in a landmark deal for the uk tech sector. japan's softbank is backing improbable in a funding round that values the business at more than $1 billion. well let's get more on this with rory cellan—jones. we should start with what improbable dolls. and improbable story. founded
to maggie years ago by two cambridge university computer science graduates. —— founded by two cambridge university computer science graduates two years ago. the gaming businesses don't make much money. this is an early—stage company. it hasn't got a lot of revenue. it has a huge vision. i've been speaking to one of the co—founders, and i was asking why gaming was quite important. where they are going somewhere very exciting. it is when people stop seeing games as a distraction and start seeing them as a source of meaningful experience. the generation coming up, when they go into the experience, which we are hopefully able to power, the relationship with that medium will be different. especially when it
comes to time spent and engagement with it. seeing the technology, the powers, that enables us to build a massive scale in the real world. those problems tend to converge with the technological path we are on. from softbank's perspective, that whole spectrum of problems... how significant is this that the uk tech centre? this makes improbable one of the first unicorns. a unicorn is a company valued at more than $1 billion before it comes to the market. let's stress what a huge bet this is by softbank. softbank has a lot of money. it is spreading it around the world. it bought the chip designer last year from the uk at a huge premium. it is a bet. it shows that in the uk there is a lot of great tech coming out. particularly from universities. from the artificial intelligence field, virtual reality field, and the
interesting thing about this is this company is staying independent. it is not being bought. it is a minority stake. they have said they wa nt to minority stake. they have said they want to stay british. that is a relief. because we see so many companies build to a certain size in the uk and then go. i am thinking about deepmind. yes, they were unknown, it was bought by google a number of years ago for the same amount of money, roughly, as what is being paid for a stake in improbable. difference there, google bought control of deepmind, which has turned out to be fantastic, in terms of reputation and a leader in artificial intelligence. whereas softbank just have artificial intelligence. whereas softbankjust have a stake in this company. snap gave their first—quarter figures this week. did not get a great result in the markets, did they? they increased users, but 2 million fewer than expected. they are not making a
profit. the market share dropped by more than 20%. interesting parallels with improbable. a huge bet being placed on improbable but at a much earlier stage. equally, placed on improbable but at a much earlierstage. equally, enormous bet being made by investors on snap, that that will be a communications platform of the future. it is growing rapidly. the key thing is it isn't growing as rapidly as investors bet. and it needs to grow ata investors bet. and it needs to grow at a rate to justify that huge valuation. question is, will this follow the trajectory of facebook, confound it... or can facebook follow the trajectory of snap? exactly. follow the trajectory of snap? exa ctly. 0 n follow the trajectory of snap? exactly. on twitter, which is disappointingly struggling. the problem is, it isn't facebook, and it is being attacked by facebook. every time it comes up with an innovation, facebook, which is bigger and more powerful, imitate
it. that will weigh on their shares for a long time. the smaller social media companies... the users is 166 million for snap chat, for facebook it is about 2 million. do we assume they have to have the same number of subscribers in order to be viable? no, that is where i think investors are making a potential mistake. these companies can survive pretty well and be useful. twitter is a useful platform for its users. for users like donald trump. snap chat is loved by the young audience. but that doesn't mean it will grow forever and is going to be quite the moneyspinner investors bet it will be. thank you so much for coming in. do you snap? when i'm on this programme with rabbit ears, the whole lot yet. i want to see that. you will see it later. the fact that she knows what it is is pretty good.
as for reality, why do you want more of it? that is why we have rabbit ears. let's move on. 0k, we are also looking at iran which holds its presidential election next week. it will be closely watched by hundreds of companies worldwide who are keen to do business there. the current president, hassan rouhani, has opened up iran to foreign investment and has attracted some of the world's biggest firms. but conservative challengers have said they would reverse his policy. later today the candidates hold the last in a series of presidential debates, which will focus on business and the economy. jeremy howell has more. two years ago jubilation on the streets of tehran. world powers promised to lift sanctions on iran after president rouhani's government promised to scale back its nuclear programme. its economy, which was
close to collapse, is now growing at over 7% per year. mr rouhani says foreign trade and investment are vital for future growth. they have struck deals with total and shell. it has ordered new aircraft from airbus and boeing. renault and peugeot are back in around again to make cars. but mr rouhani's main conservative challenger says the rapprochement with the west is failing. 0ne rapprochement with the west is failing. one in eight iranians is unemployed. the wealth gap is widening. he wants to give iranians firms the lead in rebuilding the economy. and rather than dealing with the west, he wants more trade links with countries like china, russia. he also promises to create millions of newjobs for young iranians, but he has not yet said how. nandini ramakrishnan, global market strategist atjp
morgan asset management is joining us again to discuss. the chief executive of barclays bank was sent an e—mail, which he believed was from the chairman, after that, he replied to it. he replied to a prankster. he said you have a sense of what is right, a sense of theatre, you mix humour with grit, thank you, my respect for your guile, one day i want to see an ad lib guitar solo in the ilk of eric clapton. cringe. but he sent it to somebody who was not in fact the chairman. so it is awkward. have you ever done it? not to him. i have sent text messages to somebody i was with, and then maybe intended to send it to somebody else, but sent it to them instead. fortu nately else, but sent it to them instead. fortunately not offensive. the worst thing i have done is i have picked
up thing i have done is i have picked up the phone to make a phone call, and the phone rang at exactly the same time, and i happened to talk quite badly about that particular person. what did they say? there were very good about it. —— they were very good about it. how about you ? they were very good about it. how about you? sometimes autocorrect has allowed me to reply to the wrong person. what a way to end the week. a difficult week. he just wants the week and to start, i imagine. the background as the controversy over the whistle—blower. he has reversed out of that because it appears he was trying to, maybe you should explain it better, control what the whistle—blower‘s interaction was with the bank. that's right, isn't it? yes. let's talk about... the city of london. in the context of brexit. there is a lot of debate about whether its influence will wane. two arguments. 0ne, certain
deals cannot be done in the uk if it isn't part of the eurozone. another argument is that it has a critical mass, so therefore that size is a market and a market works best when you have all of it going on in the same place. what is your prediction for the first couple of years? it'll be interesting. london is infrastructure. the city, canary wharf, built to handle that kind of volume of services and financial services london provides. it has the benefit of being in the middle of the time zone geographically. but you have these issues where if you are settling trades, having collateral movements through certain institutions, and it is based on euros, it must be in the eu for certain aspects of that. that is the real challenge. all businesses move to other european cities? that is a big argument. but also there is a fear from europeans big argument. but also there is a fearfrom europeans in general that a lot of businesses go to new york or other big financial sectors outside of this region. it would be
based on the negotiations which come through with theresa may and brexit. we have this image from the article from the new york times, talking about how nearly one fifth of the wild's banking transactions go through the uk, mostly through london. they have another interesting thing, saying the biggest cross—border banking sectors, why new york is largely centred on the american markets, london is more focused on the world, and we have $a.6 trillion moving through london. it is staggering. it isa through london. it is staggering. it is a huge part of the uk economy. markets, notjust investors, but global citizens will be watching. thank you very much for your time. have a lovely weekend. that's it from business live today. we'll see you again tomorrow. we have sunshine and showers on the
way for this weekend. today, our weather is coming up from the south, so warm and humid air moving into the uk. together with this cloud. that has brought us rain and drizzle and a damp start across southern england, wales, and the midlands. that band of low cloud and misty weather and light rain continuing to move its way north. behind it, this slow brightening up. some sunshine coming through. but that will trigger heavy showers come the afternoon. we could see rain and drizzle coming back into devon and cornwall. that will dampen down temperatures. away from the south coast, a bit more sunshine a writer, temperatures 19, 20 degrees, perhaps. there will be hail and thunder. which will be over the midlands and eventually north england by the afternoon. if you showers from northern ireland and some sunshine. the best of the sunshine in the afternoon is north west scotland, 21 degrees.
north—east england will be cool and cloudy with the wind coming off the north sea. heavy showers in northern england this evening. they will fade away quickly. some rain stays with us away quickly. some rain stays with us overnight. northern ireland, wales, scotland, where it could be misty and murky over the hills. a warm night, 10 degrees, not as warm as last night in the south. most of the wet weather to begin with is across the northern half of the uk this weekend. some thundery showers later in the north west of scotland. showers from northern ireland. england and wales in the afternoon. but most places will be dry and enjoying sunshine. temperatures in the high teens, locally 20, 21 in the high teens, locally 20, 21 in the south—east. rain across western areas by dusk. quite a narrow band of rain. there will not be much rain. it clears overnight. but it will still be lingering over the north west on sunday morning. typical temperatures into the
mid—teens. next week, we get the north west half of the uk seeing cloud and rain. quite heavy rain over the hills, notably into cumbria. the south—east, a better chance of it being dry, and briefly warm with temperatures into the mid—20s. hello, it's friday, it's 9am, i'm joanna gosling, welcome to the programme. caitlynjenner is the most famous transgender person in the world. she is also an olympic gold medal winner, reality tv star from keeping up with the kardashians, and she is with us this morning to talk about her life and what she says is her time now, living as her "true self". get in touch with us if there is anything you would like to ask caitlyn. a show boat and a grandstander. that's what donald trump thinks of james comey, who was head of the fbi until the president sacked him. in his first interview since the sacking mr trump insisted he was not under investigation and that the probe into alleged russian meddling in the us election was a "charade". he's a showboat.